ELKTON — A fire broke out at the Colonial Metals building at the Triumph Industrial Park off Blue Ball Road early Tuesday afternoon, sending two firefighters to the hospital with chemical burns and causing an undetermined amount of damage.
Fire departments responded to the scene shortly after noon on Tuesday for reports of an automatic fire alarm, but the fire was soon upgraded to a two-alarm fire. Fifty firefighters battled the fire for two hours before bringing it under control, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal.
The two firefighters were transported to Union Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to fire officials.
The cause of the fire was still under investigation as of Tuesday night. Bystanders were kept from closely approaching the site by first responders, who said they were determining whether the smoke emanating from the buildings was particularly harmful.
Fire departments from Elkton, Rising Sun, Christiana, Del., and Oxford, Pa., among others who responded later, were on site, said Singerly Fire Company Chief Tim Poore.
“Most of Cecil County as well as Chester County, Pa., and New Castle County, Del., responded to the scene,” Poore noted.
A hazmat unit and the Maryland Department of the Environment was later requested to the scene due to the chemicals and substances located in the building.
This marks the second major fire at Colonial Metals in the last four years. In July 2013, an early Sunday morning fire caused millions of dollars in damage, though no one was hurt.
Colonial Metals has been at 505 Blue Ball Road in Triumph Industrial Park for more than 40 years. The facility serves as the company’s corporate headquarters and has sales offices in Shanghai and Scotland. It is a global supplier of precious metal-based chemicals and services for electronics, semi-conductor and high technology industries.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.